Resolutions for 2019

A couple of years ago I wrote a post with a short summary of my resolutions for the upcoming year. Things that I wanted to achieve or improve. I never followed up on it or even considered how it went or if anything should change for the next year. In terms of goal planning it was a catastrophic failure.

What I should have done was to (1) made sure that my resolutions were measurable and (2) actually followed up on the progress of my goals to make sure I was on track. I did neither of these.

This year I have decided to write new resolutions. And to make sure I can manage the above I have a simpler approach this year. Here are my two resolutions for 2019.

My reading list

These are books that I would like to read during 2019. I have had vague resolutions before like “read more books” which is difficult to measure or a goal like “read 12 books” which is measurable but not specific. The problem with the latter is that I will pick books that are easy instead of books that are useful. This is a list of specific books that I would like to read during 2019 in no particular order or significance.

A personal project

This one is difficult to define in a clear way. I used to do a lot more hobby projects on the side than I do now and I would like to get back to that. If that means working one major project or several small projects does not matter. Even a tiny weekend project is enough. The project should be:

Planned

I should have some kind of documentation on what I want to accomplish before I start. A simple project plan. Proper planning is probably my weakest area and this should help me improve.

Documented

A plan does not bring much to a project unless there is some follow-up. For this project I should document successes and failures to keep track of changes to the project plan as well as completion rate.

Completed

The main problem that I suffer with when it comes to personal projects is completion. A lot of projects stagnate because of boredom or lack of time. I found this quote on Hacker News which summarizes it pretty well.

I think side projects, software at least, are a lot like the Civilization games. You can’t wait to start. The first 10% is awesome. 10-40% is complex and the difficulty ramps up. 40-100%, all you can think about is starting over on something else. At around 80%, you just quit and actually do start over.

Having a proper plan and follow-up should help to make sure that the project is on track but also to define an end-goal of the project. Hopefully this is enough to make sure the project is actually completed.